The looming execution of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran is fraught with complexity … but simultaneously very simple. Even simpler is the situation of the other guy who suffers from Schizophrenia and doesn’t even know he is going to be killed – he thinks he is a security guard in the prison.
The simplest aspect of the whole debacle is that killing someone is not right. I don’t mean to be disrespectable to those who hold a contrary view on capital punishment but, honestly, think it through. The fundamental of justice is that it is better for ten guilty to go free than one innocent hang.
And we know that many innocent men and women have been dispatched.
Us common folk need to stand together and never give our governments the right to kill.
The Bali situation is firmly and foundationally in that space – it’s an outrage that any of these people are killed. Full stop.
But not a complete full stop, there is more to discuss.
I am well aware that going beyond the fundamental point and making the points I am about to make is asking for trouble.
But my urge to speak is driven entirely by the call for Australians to boycott Bali. That’s blood-boiling stuff. How dare these faux do-gooders call for decimation of the livelihood of tens of thousands of Balinese that depend on tourism.
Those calling for a boycott actually share one very important characteristic with capital punishment supporters – they support punishment of the innocent. They should be ashamed.
So, since the boycott call has gone out, let’s pick through some of the complexity, all times being mindful of the simplest fact – no one should kill anyone.
The Australians facing the firing squad are, as well commented, seemingly restored to good men. I agree that this is important but the focus on their rehabilitation is misplaced. The focus should be utterly on the wrongness of killing someone, full stop.
Qualifications such as that governments should not kill the reformed are unnecessary. They are also ineffective. People pretend to be reformed all the time. It doesn’t guarantee that they have.
Which brings me to a most controversial question. It’s one I have not seen posed in the current debate, but I might have missed it. But before I put it, let me state that it is by no means crucial or material. It’s just a point to consider as I wind my way to my main point.
What if these guys were not caught? What if the sliding doors want another way? What if the father didn’t ring the AFP? What would these guys look like, if they had got away with the crime?
I can offer some plausible snippets.
I suggest that once the business was done, they might have taken their cash and headed to Kuta. There they might, no doubt, have indulged in some of the endless vice on offer. Given their chosen trade, I think they might have had a higher quality of vice available to them than the average Australian Bogan.
It’s a bloody uncomfortable thought. Would they have done that?
And would they have then headed home, having had their fill, and settled into some big noter life in the inner west of Sydney. Perhaps they would drive a sports car boasting some inane gangster slogan on the number plate?
It’s a bloody uncomfortable thought. Would they have done that?
Perhaps by now, ten or so years into their career, might they have risen up the ladder of grime and crime? If that was so, they might be selling ice into remote Aboriginal communities now.
While offering these alternate futures might offend, you have to admit they would be entirely possible.
That’s not my point, but it is good gristle to chew on if you want to think deeper about this matter.
If these guys did go to Kuta, they would be able to buy anything they might desire. Indeed, they could buy smack right across the road from the site where the Sari Club once offered its grubby hospitality. This would place you right out front of the Indonesian Police mini-compound that looks over the endless vice trade in Kuta.
Grok that – this is a place where they are going to kill people for trafficking drugs but you can buy the very same drug under the nose of the cops in the most prominent of locations. Hypocrisy knows no bounds.
You don’t have to settle for smack. You can have pot, acid, E, ice, you name it. You can throw in some anal sex; no condom, if that is your thing.
Come on Indonesian law – you are an arse.
And that is my point. Drug laws are the problem.
If we want to end the deaths, drug laws should be a key target.
In that, I will make an audacious statement. Heroin is not that bad. I have never had it but I have known a lot of people who have. I actually know people in very high positions who have had a heroin addiction.
My observation, with some horribly sad exceptions, is that most people get over their drug addictions. They move onto new stages in life. They get married, they have kids, and they even change the world.
Actually, a great number of people who have changed the world in the past few decades have absolutely taken drugs. If one was being really audacious, you could suggest that they changed the world because they changed their consciousness.
But, no need to advance that position.
The main point is that most people that take drugs end up being functioning humans and good members of society.
Very small amounts of people suffer serious harm or die from taking illegal drugs. Loads die from legal drugs.
Drug law reform is what we need.
That should be what we push for as we, rightly mourn the deaths that appear to be coming.
I will mourn. More so, I will mourn knowing what is really killing these guys.
Drug laws are killing them. Without drug laws, none of this would be happening. The money spent getting these guys to the gallows could be funding health and wellbeing programs for people going through their drug phase.
My heart is heavy for Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran. It is heavy for the chap with severe mental illness. At least he doesn’t know he is going to be killed.
My heart hangs heavy for all the single mums in the USA who are rotting in prisons for minor drug infringements, as just one real example.
My heart hangs heavy for my old mate who got busted carrying the night’s worth of LSD to a party. His life has been so tragically derailed. Sadly, he is now a hardened criminal.
While I do appreciate his numerous assertions that I should talk to him if I needed any “sticky situation” sorted, I wish he were the filmmaker that he wanted to be. I wish he were not a hardened crim.
And I know that it was drug laws that stole his passion.